Downpours to bring flooding to Uruguay and Argentina
By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
April 08, 2016, 1:55:20 AM EDT
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A series of storms will unleash heavy rain and thunderstorms over parts of Argentina and Uruguay this week.
The greatest threat for flooding will be during Wednesday morning as repeated downpours occur from La Paz and Santa Fe, Argentina, to Salto and Treinta y Tres, Uruguay.
This region is expected to receive 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) of rain with local amounts over 150 mm (6 inches).
The same areas already received 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) of rain on April 1 followed by another 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) on April 4, causing the ground to become saturated and river levels to rise.
This combination of recent rain and additional storms on the way will cause a high risk for widespread flooding.
Significant travel delays are expected, and some areas could become isolated from outside aid due to impassible roadways as a result of flooding and mudslides.
Additional rainfall of 25-50 mm (1-2 inches) will be common to the north and south of the hardest-hit areas. Areas likely to experience locally heavy rainfall, with a lower threat for major flooding, include Rosario and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Montevideo, Uruguay.
A slight shift southward in the storm track could bring heavier rainfall into these cities, causing more significant flooding problems through Wednesday morning.
Even if the heaviest rain remains to the north, downpours can still briefly impact travel and result in flooding in poor drainage areas.
The weather will improve from west to east on Wednesday with any rainfall limited to the morning in Buenos Aires and Montevideo.
Dry weather will be brief as another storm develops over northern Argentina on Wednesday night, bringing additional downpours to northeastern Argentina, much of Uruguay and southern Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil from Thursday into Saturday.
Rainfall of 25-50 mm (1-2 inches) will be common with this storm which would worsen flooding problems across the region.
The hardest-hit areas from Thursday to Saturday could receive an additional 150 mm (6 inches) of rain. The highest threat areas include Salto, Rivera and Bella Union in Uruguay, La Paz and Mercedes in Argentina, and Uruguaiana and Alegrete in Paraguay.
Total rainfall this week could exceed 300 mm (12 inches) in the hardest-hit areas.
Long-range forecasts indicate that a prolonged period of drier weather is expected from northeastern Argentina into Uruguay next week which would allow for recovery from the flooding. The drier weather will also be beneficial for harvesting crops.
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